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Ask the Veterinarian/Saint Bernard puppy feeding


Hello Janna.
Three days ago my mother brought home a 4 week old Saint Bernard puppy. I have been feeding the puppy a milk replacer consisting of the following : A tin of evaporated milk, two egg yellows, a tin of distilled water and half a tin of plain yogurt. I got the recipe from the owner who says he got it from his veterinarian. I am slowly trying to wean the puppy by also feeding it a hand full of puppy pellets soaked in warm water but the puppy has now started getting diarrhea. What should I feed him then? How much of this should I feed and how often?

Thank you for your time.

Four week old puppies should not be weaned from their mothers. This is too young for a puppy to be away from the mother because their systems aren't ready for solids and even egg yolks are solids. Puppies should never be fed cows milk either because it causes, as you have found out, diarrhea.

Since you have this poor thing now you cannot take it back to the breeder. You need to get some KMR, Nuturall, or Esilac canned or powdered CANINE milk replacer and feed the puppy that. For diarrhea you can give the puppy some kaopectate (plain not flavored) in her mouth or mixed with the KMR. Rice milk might help a little but not much. The main thing is to get the puppy away from the cows milk and egg yolks.

Get some canned puppy food if nothing else and mix that with distilled water and try to get the puppy to lap it up. You may have to bottle feed that for a bit. just make the nipple hole a bit bigger. Place the canned food and water in a blender and mix them very fine.

I can't tell you how much to feed since I have no idea how much this puppy weighs. Puppies at this age should be fed four times a day. Small amounts each time, just enough until the tummy is very slightly rounded. NO MORE.

Once older and on solids, over the next few weeks, you can start with the dry food. But wait until the pup is at least 6 weeks. Start putting out the wet food in a week or so and then daily add more and more dry to the dish. Add a few kibbles at a time.

Good luck and please get the Esbilac or KMR as soon as you can. We use Nuturall here but I don't kno0w if you can get it there. It comes in canine formula and it's a great milk replacement.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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